This microstory was originally published in Fairfield Scribes Microfiction Issue 24, released December 2022.
On the balcony, freshly laundered, hanging left to right: black gym bag, navy-blue Nike tracksuit, and gray Adidas trainers; big gray-and-crimson backpack and small, plasticky, cartoon-covered backpack, both gaping open, empty. Also, the housewife, hanging up her undergarments in spare nooks.
The second-story balcony is netted against thieving monkeys and shitting pigeons. Leaning on the net, the housewife peers down. The eleven-year-old is rushing off in tennis whites, her jaw set; the five-year-old is giggling, aiming a retired tennis ball at the play-bowing dog. The forty-one-year-old is dynamic—stretching before his Sunday long run.
The housewife is already listening for the bell.